The Structure of Party Ratings in Catalonia

The Making Electoral Democracy Work (MEDW) project conducted an online survey over the seven days preceding the regional election held on December 21 in Catalonia with a sample of 1500 respondents (obtained from Survey Sample International).  Respondents were weighted so that our sample is representative in terms of age, gender, province, the decision to vote, and vote intention.

We asked respondents to rate each party on a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 means that the person strongly dislikes the party and 10 means that she strongly likes the party. In this short note, we present the responses to these questions.

Figure 1 shows the mean rating obtained by each party. Only one party has a mean score above 5, and that is Catalan Republican Left (ERC). Only one party has a score below 3, and that is the People’s Party (PP). The other major pro-independence party, Together for Catalonia (JxC), has a relatively good score, close to 5. What is most remarkable is that the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), which obtained only 4% of the vote, has the same mean score as Citizens (Cs), which managed to obtain 25% of the vote. We also note that the average rating of Catalonia in Common-We Can (Comú) is almost the same as that of the Party of Catalan Socialists (PSC), even though the former received much fewer votes. All in all, the pro-independence parties get much better scores, as those who support independence are prone to evaluate positively all pro-independence parties (see below).


Figure 1: Mean Rating of Each Party in the Catalan Election

Table 1 shows the correlations given to pairs of parties. Positive correlations indicate that those who like (dislike) one party tend to also like (dislike) the other party, and negative correlations mean that the more one likes one party the more she tends to dislike the other party. We can see that the correlations between the pro-independence parties are very high (between .67 and .82), much higher than the correlations between the anti-independence parties. In the latter case, ratings of Cs and PP are strongly correlated while those with PSC are much weaker. It is also interesting to look at the ratings of Catalunya in Comú, the party that is not clearly pro or anti-independence. Its ratings are moderately positively correlated with those given to the three pro-independence parties and negatively correlated with those of Cs and PP. There is no correlation between the ratings of Comú and the PSC.

Table 1: Correlations between Evaluations of Each Party

Cs 1.00 0.72 0.49 -0.40 -0.58 -0.67 -0.54
PP 0.72 1.00 0.32 -0.28 -0.42 -0.48 -0.36
PSC 0.49 0.32 1.00 0.05 -0.37 -0.41 -0.40
Come -0.40 -0.28 0.05 1.00 0.31 0.38 0.36
JxC -0.58 -0.42 -0.37 0.31 1.00 0.82 0.67
ERC -0.67 -0.48 -0.41 0.38 0.82 1.00 0.74
CUP -0.54 -0.36 -0.40 0.36 0.67 0.74 1.00

Finally, Table 2 presents the mean score given to the other parties by the supporters of each party (that is, those who prefer a given party). We see again that supporters of each pro-independence party are positive (the means are clearly above 5) towards the other pro-independence parties, which is not the case on the anti-independence side. Most importantly, supporters of the PSC give extremely low scores to the PP, while supporters of the PP are also quite negative towards PSC. It is also worth noting that Cs supporters give slightly higher marks to the PSC than to the PP. As for Comú supporters, they give very negative ratings to Cs and the PP while being more neutral with respect to the other parties. Comú manages to get an overall mean of 5 on the 0 to 10 scale among supporters of ERC.


Table 2: Evaluations of each Party by Preferred Party

Evaluation of
Cs 8.48 3.69 4.78 1.37 1.08 1.37 0.93
PP 6.63 8.81 3.33 1.43 1.14 1.78 1.03
PSC 4.47 1.63 7.90 4.12 2.41 3.10 1.49
Comú 0.86 0.27 2.87 8.34 3.58 4.67 2.44
JxC 0.56 0.51 1.58 2.72 9.27 8.02 5.42
ERC 0.85 0.29 2.04 4.97 7.14 8.86 5.92
CUP 0.21 0.06 1.23 3.97 6.18 7.45 8.83
Overall 3.46 1.73 3.57 3.48 4.62 5.13 3.45

The main finding is that pro-independence party supporters are much more cohesive than their anti-independence counterparts. The former feel positive towards each of the other pro-independence parties, which is clearly not the case of anti-independence supporters. Finally, these data confirm the strong repudiation of the PP among the electorate. Not only did the party get only 4% of the vote, but even those opposed to independence are not willing to give the party a positive evaluation.

André Blais is Professor in the department of political science and holds a Research Chair in Electoral Studies at the Université de Montréal. He is the principal investigator for Making Electoral Democracy Work.

Eric Guntermann is a postdoctoral researcher in the department of political science at Université de Montréal. He is the research coordinator for Making Electoral Democracy Work.

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